Paris Travel Guide for first-timers

by Rasi

The mere mention of the word “Paris” brings images of romance and fashion in our heads. A lot of people cautioned me about high crimes on the streets like purse snatching and what not, before I left for Paris. People also warned me to not expect it to have that romantic vibe everywhere either. Having said that, I could not deny a certain charm the city has. Read on for this easy Paris travel guide for the first timers.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing pink sequin Rachel Gilbert skirt standing in front of the carousel and Eiffel tower in Paris for Paris travel guide

I mean would it even be Paris without this tall beauty in a photo?

Packing for Paris

The weather in September is pleasant and a perfect mix of summer and autumn. You can pack all the fun summer outfits and keep just a couple of light jackets or shawls to easily carry and throw over on days that seem cooler. I do wear the outfits for actual travel and NOT just for the photos. So they are always practical and comfy. and of course sassy. Of course it helps that I also do not mind people turning back to look at me.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing purple sweater with white exaggerated cuffs and rust orange skirt with headband and dior saddle waist bag at Montmartre in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Montmartre is an authentic french village with so much art and history. Even a short couple of hours running around in rain here were so memorable.

Footwear again, will have to be comfy for a lot of walking. I would keep just a pair or two of fancier shoes in case you decide to have dinner at a nice place, or just getting elegant pictures at the Eiffel Tower or something.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing stripe dress and ralph lauren denim jacket and white sneakers, standing on the street in Paris in front of Plaza Athenee for Paris travel guide

The streets are full of so much French architecture and the classic balcony-with-flowers is one of my favourite parts of French architecture

Accomodation for Paris

  • To keep the illusion of being in Paris still dreamy and perfect, make sure you stay central in areas close to the Opera Garnier or the Champs-Élysées. (There is an Ibis where the Opera Garnier is and it is such a perfect prime spot!)
Girl fashion blogger and travel blogger crossing the road near the Palais Garnier at in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Palais Garnier behind me is in the area with heaps of shops and hotels.

  • For Paris Fashion Week, I was with a group that got people access to a few fashion week shows; and this group organised for all their patrons to live at an Ibis close to the Gare du Nord International train station. Let me tell you, one of the cabbies I chatted with told me that the area around the train station was particularly bad and full of shady people. And he could hardly speak English! Even in broken French-English sentences, he made sure to convey to me very clearly that the area around the international train station was not safe.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing camel coloured suit with lavender shirt standing in front of the Moulin Rogue in Paris for Paris travel guide

This is kind of a red light area and super popular because of the movie of course. Certainly an interesting part to visit I would say!

  • The normal hotels like Ibis do not give you a small fridge or microwave or an electric kettle. Microwaves in general are not a thing in Europe. The Airbnb I had to take in Paris for a night didn’t have one either, and the hostess explained to me that they believed that the microwave made the food unhealthy!
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing white graphic tee with shimmery blue pants and white boots sitting at the staircase of Musée national Gustave Moreau in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Musée national Gustave Moreau was an impromptu visit for the feel of this place. It is beautiful no doubt. But honestly if you aren’t in the area and not too crazy about the staircase, you can easily give this a miss.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing white graphic tee with shimmery blue pants and white boots sitting at the staircase of Musée national Gustave Moreau in Paris for Paris travel guide

Another one because this is the iconic staircase that is quite insta popular.

Commute in Paris

  • Paris traffic is a pain; it will take you twice as long to go anywhere. Factor in the protests and stuff every now and then to make the traffic even worse. Best and quickest way to travel is to use public transport. You can grab some ticket bundles that include 20 tickets for €30 and keep using them on the subways and buses. There is no card system like in the UK.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing blue flared short dress and bell sleeves with black hiking boots at the fountain at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris for Paris travel guide

So we dragged ourselves here to the Luxembourg Gardens in search of a blue fountain and landed at completely different fountain. Cute nonetheless, I would say, right?

  • It is convenient and the only thing you must remember to check every single time is that a train has the same name whether it goes up-town or downtown. For e.g. an M7 will be coming on two platforms going two opposite ways. So remember to check the easy map of the stops that this train makes (it is up on wall on your way to the platform). If your station shows on that map, then that is your platform to go to.
Young Girl friends travel bloggers and fashion bloggers sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris for Paris travel guide

We are guilty of having shot like a million pictures with the Eiffel all prepared and posed but these fun ones with friends are my favourite types of photos.

  • The subway station passageways can get quite secluded at times so I would stay away from those towards night-time or non-busy hours, especially if you are taking the train on your own. We ended up calling an Uber to our hotel each night because it is safer and among 3 friends, it isn’t that expensive either.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing nude pencil skirt with floral crop top and neon purse with neon socks and black hiking boots standing in front of the pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Louvre with its cool Pyramids is just so fun to hang out around! sigh, I do wish we had the time to go in too. Next time for sure.

  • Take the Thalys train to Amsterdam and Brussels. The same train that goes to Amsterdam in 3-3.5 hours, stops at Brussels mid-way. So, you could do both Amsterdam and Brussels as day-trips while you are in Paris. Moving within European countries is super easy and convenient.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing white graphic tee with shimmery blue pants standing at the Galeries Lafayette  in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Galeries Lafayette is one of the coolest mall I have seen so far. The whole place is beyond gorgeous. Keep an eye out for my video for more of this place! Also couldn’t edit out this stupid camera strap belonging to the person next to me

Culture in Paris

The culture in the city is just tired of tourists who are not rich and/or white. We saw more than a few times how we were treated and received with pure rudeness and irritation at most places, while Caucasians were greeted with a smile and all the politeness in the world. Most shops and restaurants we visited had fairly helpful staff but it wasn’t uncommon to find rude people.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing blue flared short dress and bell sleeves at Notre Dame in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Notre Dam at the back end is under tarps for restoration after the fire earlier this year. The area is magical to take an evening stroll at though.

Sights and Attractions in Paris

  • Most of the places with ticketed entries have huge lines at varied times of the day. If you can go early and beat the queue, then do just get the tickets at the venue. If not, then buy these online to skip the queue.
  • Keep your passports safely locked in your hotel room because snatching is an actual issue in Paris. At any time, try not to carry too much cash on you either. Carry a physical photocopy of your passport or a photo on your phone for claiming any traveller’s discounts on shopping. Pairs has the La Velle village that has outlet shops. I wasn’t too keen on shopping so I skipped this one. The Louis Vuitton store in Paris has the best collection and prices and there is a 2-hour line at almost any given time to get into the store at Champs Elysees; but if you are keen, then do check this one out.
  • Around fashion week, some places may be closed for public.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing olive green trench dress by Badgeley Mischka with gold accessories standing at the Palace of Versailles in France for Paris travel guide

The Palace of Versailles is another world in itself, with all its art on the walls, ceilings, roof and pretty much every corner.

  • Taking that hour long trip to Versailles is a must-do. The Palace of Versailles is gorgeous and worth taking the efforts for.
  • If you don’t have patience or time or mood to go inside the Louvre and spend just a little bit of quality time inside, then I suggest you go inside some other time because it does take a ticket to get in.
  • Getting a ticket online to go up the Eiffel, is advisable. Preferably, go to the top at night for a magical view. Definitely see the Eiffel sparkling with twinkling lights in the evening; the twinkling happens every hour on the hour from sunset till 1 a.m (till 2 a.m in summers).
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing pink sequin Rachel Gilbert skirt with red versace tee shirt standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris for Paris travel guide

Funny thing: my friends and I kept referring to this one as India Gate the whole time because lets be honest, the concept remains the same, lol

Paris Fashion Week

As one would expect, the fashion week in Paris is exactly as you would imagine. Full of art, beauty, and grandeur. The big shows (that are nearly impossible to get into unless you are a somebody) actually build a runway at the popular tourist spots like the Louvre or the Palais Garnier.

four Girl fashion bloggers sitting together on a bench at the Paris Fashion Week for Tatras show in Paris for Paris travel guide

This was a fun moment to meet the famous Sejal Kumar with my friends

I don’t think there is a more strange or a more apt way to describe the feeling, but the vibe of fashion week just seems to be in the air! I dream of a chance to attend the shows by the big labels too, sigh.

Girl fashion bloggers standing dressed up for show at Paris Fashion week in Paris for Paris travel guide

Our first show for Paris Fashion week and we turn up looking like an autumn colour palette inspiration!

Girl fashion bloggers standing at the Le Salon Des Miroirs for Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week in Paris

This was a dope show with such different vibe and Manish Arora put on a fantastic exhibition.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing pink sequin skirt with white top and white bomber jacket and white sneakers, sitting in the boat at the Seine river cruise with Eiffel tower in the back in Paris for Paris travel guide

This is the Seine river cruise and going on it once is totally worth it for the views. I was bored around the return journey though; but planning to get great shots and what not against gorgeous backdrop made good use of that time. I am clearly not the sitting around quietly type, hehe..

Food in Paris

  • French food is an acquired taste even for many meat-eaters, let alone vegetarians like me. However, there are more than enough vegetarian options almost everywhere in Paris. I had to hold myself back from eating croissants because I have no self-control but when I did eat a giant fluffy one, it. was. everything. Never have I eaten such excellent croissant before. Cliché but do get yourself at least one at small bakery/cafes all over Paris.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing blue flared short dress and bell sleeves at a colourful cafe in Paris for Paris travel guide

Cafes and Paris are synonymous. Every simple cafe is a vibe. We all know my feelings about colours now don’t we? Definitely try the fresh croissants anywhere you can; even I had to give in to the guilty pleasure!

  • Best part of European food experience for me was the Strabucks! The Starbucks there actually sells FRESH FRUIT JUICES!!! I had the best fresh squeezed orange juice at not just Starbucks but mannny cafes and they serve it in super huge grande cup size options too! So that is basically a mini-meal on the go. And such perfect naturally sweet taste. My senses were beyond happy.
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing floral crop top and neon purse standing at the Starbucks in Paris for Paris travel guide

Fun fact: this is my friend’s drink because I gulped down the super-sized cup of orange juice in 2 mins and then realised I forgot to take a photo and then saw this unreal interior! I mean, painting intricate ceiling stuff is pretty standard in Europe then? Cool cool.

  • Mc Donald’s* in Paris also had a few vegetarian options including pasta salad and fresh veggie wraps. Just when I had written off Starbucks and McDonald’s as serving bad and useless stuff, I was suddenly always happy to see them both at every corner!
Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing purple sweater with white exaggerated cuffs and rust orange skirt with headband and dior saddle waist bag at Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Sacré-Cœur at Montmartre is just one of the beauties in this area. This place, on a day with scattered showers, was a whole damn vibe.

Paris has insanely cute corners that I could not fully explore because I didn’t have enough time. The people are an interesting mixed bag of friendly and rude and sometimes just seeming rude but being friendly. The city isn’t exactly as dirty compared to many other non-first world countries. The architecture brings all the magic in and makes you feel lost in the romance. As always, your company will make or break your experience. This is one place which tends to get a gloomy vibe really quick due to the weather at times. So make sure to seek experiences and smiling faces with your favourite people by your side.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing olive green trench dress by Badgeley Mischka with gold accessories standing at the Palace of Versailles in France for Paris travel guide

I may have given myself whiplash trying to not miss any corner of this gorgeous Palace of Versailles. Ceiling art just screams royalty!

I admit that I didn’t exactly fall in love with the city like they do on TV, but there is something in all the architectural beauty and how the city is just built in certain parts. The company I had to explore the city, made it more fun and memorable. I felt the fear of missing out on exploring the major attractions in the city but I will come back again with husband dearest to finish seeing everything of course because there is much more to explore and at leisure.

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing blue flared short dress and bell sleeves at Shakespeare and Company in Paris for Paris travel guide

This place is absolutely what my childhood dreams are made of. I dream of spending a few hours here at Shakespeare and Company my next trip just reading a nice book. sigh

Cheat Sheet*

*Mc Donald’s Australia gets zero points here because they only serve crappy garden salad which is just straight-up garbage. And NO-sweet things don’t count as actual food.

*I guess my reference point comes from being in a ridiculously friendly and happy country like Australia where pretty much everyone will go out of their way to help you!

Girl travel blogger and fashion blogger wearing nude pencil skirt with floral crop top and neon purse with neon socks and black hiking boots standing at the Domaine National du Palais-Royal in Paris for Paris travel guide

The Domaine National du Palais-Royal is a fun place to run around like a child and climb up these candy-striped pillars, lol.

Where’s the hygge?

Compared to how much people down-played the romantic and beautiful vibe of the city, The lovely architecture and the impressions of Paris I have accumulated over many movies, TV and social media together made it bittersweet for me. I must admit that I did not exactly fall in love with the city as many claim to. And that is mainly because the people seemed quite rude more often than not. Maybe living in one of the most friendliest countries (Australia) made me unaware of how rude the rest of the world can be..I certainly would go back to finish exploring the places I missed out on. You can’t deny the hygge in exploring the splendour in the city’s beautiful structures and its charming vibe.

Laters, people!
XoXo

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12 comments

Meredith Dent 11/19/2019 - 10:35 am

Okay, this guide is BEYOND amazing. It’s so in depth and has everything you’d ever need to know! I’ve been absolutely dying to go back to Paris lately, so I’m totally going to save this for future reference. Thank you so much for putting together such an amazing and in-depth guide love ❤️

Reply
Rasi 11/19/2019 - 12:49 pm

Oh I’m so glad you found it useful! I’m surely going again to explore things I missed the first time!😄
Thank you for the love and I do hope you find all this useful even on your second visit!😊

Reply
Christella Burnette 11/19/2019 - 10:45 am

The pictures are breathtaking! Thank you for sharing! I look forward to going one day!

Reply
Rasi 11/19/2019 - 12:58 pm

Thank you so much for checking out the post!😊
You would love the vibe and the beauty in all its landmarks🥰 I hope you have a great time and this guide serves to be useful!😃

Reply
Sarah 11/19/2019 - 12:55 pm

Paris is literally my favorite place in the whole world. It’s been 10 years since I visited last and your photos took me right back. Fabulous post!

Reply
Rasi 11/19/2019 - 1:00 pm

Aww thank you so much for the love Sarah!I hope you go again and enjoy it even better!😄❤

Reply
Charlotte 12/06/2019 - 6:44 pm

This is such an in depth blog post I love it, loving all of your pictures too they are great. Great post x

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Rasi 12/06/2019 - 9:38 pm

Thank you hun! I have tried to help with tips for making the trip fun and to share some ideas for fashionable outfits.
Thank you for taking the time to show this some love!
🙂

Reply
Hannah 12/07/2019 - 4:41 am

I LOVE this. I’ve never been to Paris (have always wanted to go), but I felt like I was there while reading your post. Your writing is lovely, and I can’t wait to read more! Definitely will be using your tips when I go in the future. Great post hun ❤

– h.r.

Reply
Rasi 12/07/2019 - 11:07 am

Thank you heaps for checking this out Hannah!😊🙏🏼
You absolutely made my day!😄
Surely useful steps to make sure you get the most out of your time and energy when you visit!🙂

Reply
Suman Dhar 12/07/2019 - 12:21 am

Definitely this place is on my bucket list. Thanks for the heads up. Will surely keep this guide handy.

Reply
Rasi 12/07/2019 - 11:06 am

I hope you find the tips easy to apply and plan your future trip too! Definitely a place worth visiting quite a few times. I will visit again too obviously😄
Thank you for taking the time to show the post some love!🙂🙏🏼

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